Why do the Welsh love leeks? Here’s the history of this mystery: in 640 AD, legend tells that King Cadwallader was defending Wales from a horde of marauding Saxons. The wise King told his army to wear leeks in their hats so they could find their allies on the battlefield. Since that great victory, the Welsh have just loved their leeks. Their soldiers still wear them every year on St David’s Day.
Leeks are a good source of vitamin A, which supports our vision and immune system, and bone-building vitamin K and manganese.
For the more tender leeks, go for the smaller or medium sized Small to medium sized leeks are the most tender. Look for leeks that have a firm white bulb and bright green leaves.
Store your leeks whole in the fridge or crisper drawer for up to a week. If chopped, keep in an airtight container or zip-lock bag left slightly open will help to contain the smell.
To prep leeks, cut off the dark green tops (you can slow cook these in butter or stock to not waste them if you want!) and wash really well, making sure to get the water between the layers. Slice into rounds, in half lengthways, or cook whole. You can steam, boil, bake, or stir fry small slices of leeks – cook until soft.
At Its Best:
September - May
Here are some of our favourite ways to engage kids with leeks:
Find your go-to meals in our family favourites section and see what veggies work best with them.
Find out how to add more veg to your suppers here.
Jamie's £1 Wonders
Jamie's £1 Wonders
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it!
The first thing to do is remove the pressure. If the veg doesn’t get eaten, it’s not the end of the world. There will be other days, other dinners, other chances. Fun is key here – try not to worry about mess, perfect table manners, or playing with food. Instead, focus on making the process of getting the food to the plates, readying the table, and the actual eating relaxed.
The best principles for success here are the Three Rs (role modelling, rewarding, re-offering) which you can read about here.
But there is one more way you can serve for success, and that is giving your child a role. You don’t have to do this every time, just encourage them in their strengths through it when you can.
Here are some of our favourite ideas:
Design a menu
Come up with a silly name or story for a dish
Help with making a meal plan and choosing veg for dinners or snacks
Help to serve up the meal on dishes, lay the table or create a centrepiece to be involved in the physical ‘serving up’ process
The Wonderful World of Veg
Check out our vegepedia. When to buy in-season. How to store them to keep for longer. How to engage children with each veg, and simple ideas of how to prepare and cook them for maximum taste and minimum waste. Select a veg…